Shangai Disneyland’s heavyweight WDI head

So it seems the beans have been spilled, the cat is out of the bag, the dice has been rolled and the heads have been cut; Bob Weiss will be the Walt Disney Imagineering head for Shangai Disneyland – it was a head to head battle between him and Scott Trowbridge (the guy which gave us IOA’s Spiderman ride who had joined WDI in 2007) and Bob won.

Who is Bob Weiss?
Well he is a WDI old timer; he headed, together with the Kirk brothers (the guys who gave us the amazing “Tokyo DisneySEA” much of the initial design for the original “Disney MGM Studios Theme Park2 in 1989.

Then he had a period of “bizare luck”
The guy was first called upon to design (again together with the Kirk’s) the never built “Disney MGM Studios Europe Themepark” which would have been the original second gate for EuroDisneyland.

That park had little in common with the modest “walt Disney Studios” which opened in Paris in 2002; it would have been a true notch up to the “Studios themeparks genre”.

all working concepts from the Florida park would have been exported to Europe and most other new and original rides and areas would have really given even Universal a run for their money in this field!

Then, when EuroDisney had that “small” cash problem and the Studios themepark was posponed Bob was placed in charge of the new “Disney’s America” park.

This park, to be built in Haymarket (Virginia) might have just been the “cultural evolution” to a Disney themepark, representing histories and heritage of the USA.

Again, project tanked due to so many political reasons!

Bob then left WDI and set up his own shop (Design land, based in Orlando and working for many others besides Disney) where he stayed to 2007 when he was called back to WDI as Vice President and took charge of the DCA extreme makeover project.

Seems his work in DCA was so liked by Jay Rasulo, John Lasseter and Bruce Vaughn (current WDI head) that Bob was moved to the Shangai Disneyland project.

This is exciting news; the guy has talent and love for Disney, knows his stuff and reads his audience.

I don’t think Disneyland type themeparks should become the equivalent to Starbucks ; they should be unique and just a few in the world (like 5 being the limit) but with Weiss heading Shangai i still have a spark of light and faith in this project.

Of course if the park was somehting entirely different from the classic “Magic Kingdom” type park; something on the lines of Epcot meets Studios meets Toontown, meets something else i would still prefer it (and wouldn’t be THAT surprised…hint hint…).

Last note;
this leaves Trowbridge on the loose; for sure he will stay (hopefully) at WDI, but doing what exactly?
The guy is a semi heavy height, not in the same league as Tom Morris, Joe Rohde or Tony Baxter (the last two being on a charismatic league of their own) but was considered a wiz kid for what he did in IOA….

maybe some pet projects will get some green light

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